Film Short: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Rated 3.0

A rebellious teenager (Josh Hutcherson) and his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) dash off in search of the boy’s grandfather (Michael Caine), a “Vernian” who knows that Jules Verne’s books were actually true. Along for the ride are a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzmán) and his fetching daughter (Vanessa Hudgens). The premise was fresher in 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, which was a cleverer movie all around. Even so, writers Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn and Richart Outten keep the adventures coming, the special effects are endearingly cheesy, Johnson makes a game substitute for Brendan Fraser (he even sings!), and everybody seems to be having fun. The movie is perfectly respectable kid stuff, and the way director Brad Peyton’s 3-D camera ogles Hudgens’ physical attributes will keep the dads from dozing off. J.L.